FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas cross country teams collected three honors Friday with the release of the 2010 Southeastern Conference Awards by the league office. Head coach Chris Bucknam was named the SEC Men’s Coach of the Year and the Razorbacks’ swept top freshman honors as Stephanie Brown and Bryan Cantero were named the SEC Freshman Runners of the Year.
In his third season, Bucknam led the Razorbacks to the 2010 SEC men’s cross country title, the 18th in program history. His team opened the season with a win at the season-opening Arkansas Invitational. At the Stanford Invitational, the Razorbacks ran to a second-place finish and, as a result, moved up to a season-best No. 6 ranking in the USTFCCCA national poll. At the conference meet, Arkansas placed five in the top 10 on its way to 34 team points and the conference crown.
This marks the first SEC cross country accolade for Bucknam, and his fourth overall. He also has two indoor awards (2009, 2010) and one outdoor honor (2009). The Razorbacks’ 2010 SEC cross country crown is also the conference fourth title for Bucknam.
Brown was the top freshman finisher in the women’s 6K race at the conference meet Monday in Columbia, S.C. She finished fifth overall in a time of 21:12.84 to earn All-SEC First and All-Freshman Team honors. Brown helped the Razorbacks to a second-place finish, just one point behind champion Florida. Her time clocked at the SEC Championships was a personal-best 6K performance by more than 70 seconds.
During the season, Brown was named the SEC Freshman Runner of the Week on three occasions. She opened the season with a third-place showing at the Arkansas Invitational and followed that with a fifth-place effort at the UC Riverside Invitational. The Razorbacks won the team title at both events. At the Notre Dame Invitational, Brown turned in a 5K time of 17:38 as Arkansas’ third finisher.
The Downs, Ill., native is the sixth student-athlete for head coach Lance Harter to earn Freshman Runner of the Year accolades, joining Penny Splichal (2001), Christine Kalmer (2005), Dani Parry (2006), Jillian Rosen (2007) and Alyssa Allison (2009).
In the men’s 8K conference race, Cantero ran to an eighth-place finish in a time of 24:22.16 to help the Razorbacks claim this year’s SEC cross country title. With his performance, Cantero secured a spot on the All-SEC Second Team and as the top freshman runner, he also grabbed All-Freshman honors. His eighth-place overall finish Monday was a season-high result.
Making his Cardinal and White debut at the Stanford Invitational, Cantero clocked a season-best 8K time of 24:13 and a 17th-place place finish to earn his first SEC Freshman Runner of the Week award. He earned his second in as many races with his 10K performance at the 22nd Annual Chile Pepper Festival. He crossed the line in a time of 30:25.56 as the third overall freshman finisher.
The Aoste, France, native is the fifth student-athlete in Arkansas men’s cross country history to earn Freshman Runner of the Year accolades, joining Chris Mulvaney (2000), Jason Sandfort (2001), Mike Poe (2003) and Solomon Haile (2009).
Both Razorback crews return to the competition course Saturday, Nov. 13, for the 2010 NCAA South Central Regional in Waco, Texas, at the Cottonwood Creek Golf Course. The women’s 6K race is scheduled for a 10 a.m. (CT) start while the men’s 10K race will get under way at 11 a.m. Visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com for more information.
Download: 2010 SEC Awards.pdf